News for employees

MU Extension Insider
March 4, 2014


In the news

Upcoming events

Coming and going


MU Extension Insider is published on the first and 15th of the month by the MU Cooperative Media Group. Send feedback and comments to Karen Dickey.

In the news

H.C. Russell joins MU Extension's CARET delegation

H.C. RussellH.C. Russell, chair of the University of Missouri Extension State Council, has been named a delegate for MU Extension to the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET).

Russell will join Edwin Turner, who has been MU Extension’s delegate to CARET since 2005.

As a national grass-roots organization created by the APLU’s Division of Agriculture, CARET advocates for greater national support and understanding of the land-grant university system’s food and agricultural research, extension and teaching programs that enhance the quality of life for all people.

“The federal budget and the process surrounding it are increasingly complicated,” said Michael Ouart, vice provost and director of MU Extension. “The addition of H.C. Russell to our CARET delegation will not only benefit CARET, but provide a greater opportunity for information exchange within MU Extension and the State Extension Council he chairs.”

CARET delegates are typically end users of the state land-grant university’s food and agricultural research, extension and/or teaching programs. They are knowledgeable about the land-grant university system and interact with members of Congress and others involved in policy as they provide credible insight on recommendations and legislative proposals affecting the agricultural research, extension and teaching programs of the land-grant university system.

Russell, an area credit manager for MFA Inc., has served on the MU Extension State Council since 2005 and as its chair since 2009.

“Under his leadership, extension council members from across the state have become a cohesive advocacy group that has been successful in communicating about the value of MU Extension for Missouri citizens with legislators, county commissioners and the governor’s office,” Ouart said.

Russell also represents MU Extension as a member of the University of Missouri Alumni Alliance and is the 2012 recipient of the Gordon Warren University Extension Land-Grant Award, given each year to “an individual who sees the universities as a community resource and who accesses knowledge and research to improve the lives of Missouri citizens.”


DuPont strikes deal with MU on soil research, data

MU Extension researchers and USDA scientists on the MU campus are collaborating with DuPont Pioneer to pool soil data, expertise and other resources to help grain farmers improve yields and reduce costs.

Extension corn specialist Brent Myers says researchers at MU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources are collaborating on precision agriculture projects with Pioneer’s seed corn division. They developed high-resolution soil maps that will provide information producers can use to make better management decisions that lead to larger profits.

Researchers will build upon public soil survey data from USDA to identify unique land areas called environmental response units (ERUs). Myers has led development of methodology and software that identifies the ERUs, which are typically much smaller than current soil map units.

Learn more about this collaborative effort.


More than 400 university advocates support Legislative Day

Capital rotunda

Hundreds of supporters from the UM system’s four campuses and MU Extension flocked to Jefferson City Feb. 18 to participate in the 40th annual Legislative Day, sponsored by the University of Missouri Alumni Alliance and MU Extension. Michael Ouart, vice provost for extension, joined UM President Tim Wolfe and the four campus chancellors to lead the activity.

University displays in the Capitol’s third floor rotunda featured extension, research and other educational programs from across the state. Participants capped the day with an open legislative forum in the House lounge, where several senators, representatives and state higher education leaders spoke to the group and answered questions, reports Marty Oetting, UM state government relations director.


Applicants sought for professional development opportunities

Four faculty development opportunities were announced last week by the MU provost’s office, according to Michael Ouart, vice provost and director of MU Extension.

“I encourage all extension faculty members to consider applying for any of these professional development programs,” says Ouart. “Please explore the details to determine if any of them may help you meet your career goals.”

Each of the four programs has a specific deadline within the next few months:

SEC Collaboration
The Southeastern Conference Academic Collaboration Grant is intended to expand student-focused collaboration among SEC universities. The first $25,000 SEC Academic Collaboration Grant will be awarded for the 2014-2015 academic year. Applications due April 14.

SEC Academic Leadership Development Program (ALDP)
This professional development opportunity seeks to identify, prepare and advance academic leaders for roles within SEC institutions and beyond. Applications due April 25.

SEC Faculty Travel Grant Program
To enhance collaboration that stimulates scholarly initiatives between universities, this program offers faculty members from each SEC university the opportunity to travel to other SEC universities to exchange ideas, develop grant proposals and conduct research. Applications due May 5.

University of Missouri Faculty Scholars (UMFS)
The UMFS program is designed to assist faculty as they adjust to their new academic responsibilities and environments, to support innovative teaching methods, help promote scholarship, and provide opportunities for faculty members to network with campus colleagues and those from other UM campuses. The program is open to tenure track and non-tenure track ranked faculty in their second, third or fourth years at the university. Applications due May 30.

For additional information, contact Linda Bennett, who oversees faculty development projects in the provost’s office, at 573-882-7915 or


February deep freeze sets 35-year record for Missouri

February may go into the records as the coldest in 35 years, says Pat Guinan, MU Extension state climatologist.

“December and January were cold. February was colder,” Guinan says. Temperatures ran 12 degrees Fahrenheit below normal in northern Missouri and 9 degrees colder in the south.

Preliminary data indicate a state average of 25 degrees, which is 9 degrees below normal. “That’s colder than February 1989. If confirmed, it will be the coldest February since 1979, which was brutally cold,” he says.

Explore additional details about this winter, which could rank as ninth coldest in the Show-Me State.


MU Extension health systems thematic team reports on progress

MU Extension’s health systems thematic team recently presented a progress report via Adobe Connect on the latest developments from the group. The presentation was led by Linda Morgan, health systems team facilitator and SE Region FNP project director, and Melissa Bess, team member and WC Region nutrition and health specialist.

Connect to the entire presentation for the report of team progress.


Legislators' participation promotes 4-H academy

Munzlinger and Hulet

State Sen. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown, hosted 12 members of the 4-H Legislative Academy last month in Jefferson City. Adair County 4-H'er Ashley Hulet,right, was among those who met with Munzlinger. The three-day event is held annually to allow 4-H members to learn the lawmaking process from legislators, agribusiness leaders and state agency representatives. Marty Oetting, MU government relations director, oriented the group to the Missouri General Assembly, and state Rep. Mike Kelley, R-Lamar, led an evening tour of the Capitol.


Getting tourists to slow down for a small town

Find ways to make tourists slow down for a small town. State tourism leaders gave this advice to community leaders at a recent Cultural Heritage Tourism and the Arts workshop sponsored by MU Extension in Macon.

Rural communities across the country are finding economic opportunities from cultural heritage tourism, said MU Extension community arts specialist Lee Ann Woolery.

Tourists travel to small towns for a variety of reasons, such as seeing historically authentic sites and appreciating artistic or culturally significant features. Read more about attracting special-interest tourists to rural communities.


Flora abuse takes toll on housebound vegetation

You might love your houseplants, but our homes often do not provide the best environment for them to thrive.

Houseplants plants need adequate light and humidity, two conditions often lacking in the average home, says David Trinklein, MU Extension horticulture specialist.

“There are no houseplants in nature. Rather, we’ve arbitrarily gone out into the wild and selected plants that we think can survive in the austere conditions found in most homes,” Trinklein said.

Domestic enemy No. 1 for houseplants, according to Trinklein: overwatering.

A flick of your finger will help you discover other underappreciated or overlooked factors contributing to the proper domestic environmental balance separating healthy houseplants from dead ones.


JCEP conference draws extension leaders to Memphis

JCEP attendees

The 2014 Leadership Conference of the Joint Council of Extension Professionals focused on leadership issues for extension’s next century. Representing MU Extension at the three-day meeting last month in Memphis, from left: Mark Stillwell, project administrator and past president of ESP; Mary Leuci, community development program director and ESP president-elect; Jim Crawford, NW Region natural resource engineer and MEAP president; Kay Sparks, WC Region 4-H youth specialist and past president of MAE4-HYW; Jenny Flatt, EC Region 4-H youth specialist and MAE4-HYW president-elect; and Bethany Bachmann, SE Region nutrition specialist and member of MEAFCS.


Health screenings have started—schedule yours today

In 2014 active UM medical plan subscribers can earn a $100 Wellness Incentive in their final May paycheck by completing two simple steps: an online personal health assessment and a health screening, according to Blaine Snow, MU Wellness program coordinator. For answers to related questions, please email

Snow also invites any university employee to help sessions for assistance with the 2014 Wellness Incentive. These sessions will focus on setting up and logging into an individual Cerner account, completing the Personal Health Assessment, and scheduling a health screening for the 2014 incentive program. The help session is open to anyone without access to the Internet or anyone having trouble with the technical side of the process.

Sessions will run on the Columbia campus at the following locations, dates and times:

  • General Services Building, Room 25: 10 a.m.-1 p.m., March 20; and 1 p.m.-3 p.m., April 1.
  • MU Human Resources Office, Room 104 (inside Parking Structure #7): 11 a.m.-1 p.m., March 14 and April 11.

Contact Snow at for assistance or if you are unable to attend any of the sessions.


Upcoming events

Registration opens for Summers @ Mizzou youth event

Registration is open for students 12 and older to try on careers and learn during 2014 edition of Summers @ Mizzou, July 13-17 and 20-24 in Columbia. The annual program, sponsored by the MU Extension 4-H Center for Youth Development, gives students an opportunity to learn and explore the campus during weeklong residential camps.

Read more about session topics, and for more information follow Summers @ Mizzou on Facebook at, contact Teresa Bishop at 573-884-0554 or visit the website at


Fee-generation workshops

Workshops have been scheduled to explain additional functions and updates to the Fee-generation Worksheet-Online Tool. Register through ISE up to one week before the workshop. Sessions that do not have at least four registrants will be canceled and registrants will be asked to choose an alternative date.

2014 workshops

March 19

10-11 a.m.

April 17

2-3 p.m.

June 19

2-3 p.m.

July 16

10-11 a.m.

Aug. 21

2-3 p.m.


Other dates to remember

March 8: Small Acreages and Land Entrepreneur (SALE) Conference, St. Joseph.

March 8: Beef Production Field Day, 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., at Linnenbringer Farms in Auxvasse. See additional details and registration information for the event, sponsored by MU Extension and Callaway County livestock producers.

March 13-14: 4-H Conference on Global Careers, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. each day at Business Technology Campus, Metropolitan Community College, 1175 University Ave., Kansas City, Mo. For more information, call 816-270-2141 or email

March 24-28: Community development training with CDA in St. Louis.

March 29: Northland Ethnic Festival, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Park Hill South High School, 4500 NW River Park Drive, Riverside, Mo.

May 17: 4-H Day with the Cardinals. Forms are available at

June 10-11: 2014 CPD conference in Columbia.

July 13-17 & 20-24: Summers @ Mizzou. For more information, contact Teresa Bishop at 573-884-0554 or go to


Coming and going

Please welcome

Debra Taylor, administrative assistant, Extension Publications

Ashley Sturm, community development specialist, Pike County, NE Region

Deirdre Martin, youth program assistant, Ralls County, NE Region

Marc Curry, associate extension professional and community development specialist, Laclede County, WC Region



Katherine Schroepfer died Feb. 25. She was the mother-in-law of Mary Schroepfer, Franklin County nutrition and health education specialist. Condolences may be sent to Mary at the Franklin County Extension Center, 116 West Main St., Union, MO 63084.

Edna Lee DeLong died March 1. She was the mother of Tony DeLong, MU Extension county council coordinator based in Columbia. Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. Thursday, March 6 at Stumpff Funeral Home in Crane, Mo. Funeral services are set for 1 p.m. Friday, March 7, at the funeral home.


If you have items to include in future issues, please send them to Karen Dickey, Curt Wohleber or Phil Leslie in the Cooperative Media Group. If you have questions, contact Dennis Gagnon, director, MU Extension Communications and Marketing.